Saturday I was up till late. It was a long night first spent correcting papers and then began the spell of queasiness and questioning. What is life? Where am I headed in life? What exactly do I want from it? And is it really as good as people make it out to be? I am facing the same questions that my students are asking themselves, the thing is that there’s a difference of thirty odd years between our ages. I am expected to be mature and all knowing and here I am grappling with situations, trying to make sense of what is.
I am definitely not concerned about my career at this stage. I think I have figured that out in the last three years, albeit very late. I have also succeeded in setting the health goals for myself and I am sorted in that direction too. And yet I struggle. My problem is that I have no idea where I want to position myself. I am aware of what I want and don’t want but still feel like a rudderless, drifting ship not aware of the destination and hence without navigation. The idea of embarking on a journey without a thought and a plan is pretty adventurous and romantic. There are myriad possibilities but one needs a guiding North Star even on the road less travelled. I wonder and realise that my ship is without an anchor and hence I am drifting instead of anchoring and enjoying the stars till I figure out which direction to set the course on.
This post is happening because I was stirred out of my slumber by the notification sound and was pleasantly surprised by a student as I looked for the message expectantly. We chatted almost an hour and what a delight it was. We spoke about life, the physical and the abstract and a lot of other stuff. He shared a piece of his writing and I agreed with him that sometimes one tends to dwell on the clouds too much because not every cloud has a silver lining and one needs to rise above the clouds for soaking in the sunshine. And as he updated me on what new was happening in his life, I quipped that life was but a transverse wave and it hit me that I too was hankering too much on the troughs. I need to float to the crest and be myself.
This reminds me of an another conversation I had with one of my students. He is a pilot in the Indian Navy and we were chatting about a typical day in their lives which he said was full of activities and drills. I asked what they did in the drills (exercises) and he said that all that they did was brainstorm and plan. Planning what if a given plan failed. He said that he planned backup plans up to E because they have to be ready for all eventualities and even after that there were times that they had to quickly think of something as something totally out of the blue came on course. And I realise that I do not have a plan B in hand as I write this.
I didn’t have one when Abhay went away all of a sudden but then I knew instinctively what was to be done. I was focused on his immediate need to be able to move on to the next realm and then take matters in my hands to sort out what was left behind. And I have none even now. So, I definitely need to shift my focus again.
A night before yesterday I had a good conversation with an elder brother and now I know that all I need is a daily fix of a good conversation and I think I was expecting it to happen on its own without looking for it. I need to proactively look for engaging and engrossing conversations to help me introspect and grow. I must start planning up to E and still expect the rudderless days to be there and think quickly about the next plan of action and bounce back. We cannot latch our happiness on a singular thing, it will become burdensome eventually.
Feel it goes for everyone. Let’s keep the backup plan ready when the mood is good and one can think clearly and don’t worry if there is none; for someone or something will drop in to stir you from the slumber– just keep the notification switched ON! 👍